My name's Dave, and I live near Tyler, Texas. We are new to chickens, only having them about a year. We bought 2 New Hampshire Red chicks last spring (coop MK 1), as part of an ongoing experiment with self-sufficiency, only to lose 1 to the neighbors dog (coop MK 2). A month later the same dog mauled pullet 2 (coop MK 3) but we nursed her back to health only to have a bird of prey take her (coop MK 4). A while later, a woman gave us 5 chicks, which have grown into Freedom Rangers, as near as we can tell. We like the idea of having the critters, so it's on and upward from here. We have the 5 Rangers, 4 roosters and 1 hen (free straight run). We are getting 10 Silkies later this week. When Spring rolls in we'll add Cochins, Australorps, and Turkens (they look just way too freaky not to have). When the first birdie-birds came home we scoured the net for information. BYC came up everytime I had a question. Needless to say, I lurked quite a while, only now getting the moxy to join. I am trying to soak up everything I can find about farmyard-type critters, gardening, and homesteading in general. It may sound silly (I'm a guy, and 40, and only semi-rural) but the concept as a whole really gets me going. I'm a recreational Benchrest shooter, I only compete against myself anymore, and seem to be plateau'ed out at 700m. Of course that was before animals took my range time, LOL. My wife and 2 kiddos (The Boy-7 and That Girl-9) round out the domestic family unit, all 3 of which seem to want me in an early grave.. We have 2 spoiled rotten Dachshunds, 2 fuzzy Terriers that were abandoned (wife's HUGE heart), and 4 rabbits of different breeds (1 is pregnant). I can appreciate the irony that every canine we have has been used to hunt every livestock we have. I've been an automotive mechanic for the last decade, but currently unemployed, and I have no desire to go back to turning wrenches. Hopefully something will turn up for me in residential HVAC, global warming and all, LOL. A nice summer day here is only 185* F. That's about all I can think of at the moment, I've run out of template.